Death on Trial (2008): Examining the deep problems with the execution method of lethal injection used widely in the US. Are death row prisoners in the US being tortured to death? According to doctors, lethal injection - America's favourite form of execution - is an inhumane, agonising way to die.

"Lethal injection is a charade", states surgeon Jonathan Groner. "Prisoners can suffer excruciating pain". Lethal injection consists of a combination of three drugs. The first one is meant to put the inmate in a coma. The second paralyses all muscles and the third, potassium chloride, causes cardiac arrest. If administered incorrectly, it results in a long and agonizing death. "We are sort of burning someone at the stake", states Groner. Most of the prison wardens who administer the drugs have no medical training. Michael Manning witnessed the botched execution of his brother's killer, Joseph Clark. "We heard real bad moaning and groaning. You could tell he was in pain." It took Clark an hour and a half to die. "His head would come up, tongue out, like he was gasping for air". In recent years, there have also been a series of high profile exonerations, shaking America's confidence in the death penalty even further. In some states, exonerations outnumber executions. "The death penalty is the dirtiest, filthiest thing we do in this country", states one former warden. "It's got to be stopped."

ABC Australia - Ref. 3906

Journeyman Pictures.

Film Duration: 28 min